How far away can we see things using a long range PTZ camera? Obviously, we can see the moon which is 238,900 miles away, but of course we would need a powerful telescope to see the small craters. We can see people in a crowd, but when we want to identify their face, it gets a lot harder. The distance is determined by what detail we need to see.
Do you want to be able to detect a vehicle moving, or identify the person driving the vehicle? The objective will determine the type of IP camera system you will need. In general the distance is determined by the lens, the type of camera (thermal camera or optical camera), the camera resolution, and sometimes the IR illuminator available. This article describes how we can specify the IP camera system required for long distance viewing.
This article was updated on 4/12/2018 to reflect new IP cameras
IP Camera manufacturers provide product specification sheets that help you select the right camera for your IP security and surveillance system. But, which specifications are important? They include such things as resolution, minimum light sensitivity, lens, WDR, signal to noise, etc. This article reviews the important camera specs, and how to avoid being fooled by specsmanship (from the marketing department).
The importance of each of the camera specifications depends on your objective and application for your IP camera system. For example, if you want to use the camera outdoors where it can get dark, then the low light specification is important.
If you are only using the IP camera indoors, you may be more interested in the how wide a viewing angle you can achieve. Here is a review of the important specifications.
What is the right lens and resolution for your IP camera? When you put together your IP camera system, you want to make sure that the camera you select for each location meets your expectations. It is important to first know the objectives for each area you are viewing. Do you want to identify a person’s face, a license plate, or just detect a person walking far away? In general, the more detail you want, the higher the resolution you need. This article shows you how to determine the viewing area and distance you should expect.
Note: this article was updated on 8/15/2017 to correct an error in calculation.